Remember the old riddle-If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring? - Pilgrims! I always told my mom that joke and each time I thought I was pulling something over on her. Yeah - I was a funny kid. I've been getting a little tired of the rain but know that it will help the grass grow green, the flowers bloom a little fuller and provide us with drinking water during the summer time So, to tied me over when it's raining, I watch these enlightening movies about our puritanical friends - the Pilgrims.
The Devil and Daniel Webster, also known as All That Money Can Buy, is a 1941 classic tale of instant gratification, greed and sorrow. A poor farmer makes a pact with Mr. Scratch for seven years of good luck. Although it seems like he has everything he wants - he is still lost. After 7 years, Mr. Scratch comes to collect on the debt. Daniel Webster steps in to help his farmer friend. A little known fact - there really is a Daniel Webster and he was highly regarded during the Antebellum period. The Simpsons did a parody of this story which is almost as great as the film.
I remember reading Nathaniel Hawthorne's book The Scarlet Letter when I was in high school. I was outraged that young Hester was singled out as such a horrible woman. Only the 1926 silent movie version of this book has truly captured the passion and sorrow of our young heroin. A beautiful Lillian Gish plays Hester and does a command performance as the shunned woman in a Puritanical society. It is well worth the watch.
A more recent film is The Piano. This is one of Holly Hunter's greatest roles. She plays a mute woman who has an arranged marriage to a man in New Zealand. Life is very rugged for her, not only the terrain, but also the relationship with her husband. Once she begins teaching piano to a very sensual Harvy Keitel (I can not believe I used sensual and Harvey Keitel in the same sentence) her life begins to change. It is a story of triumph and love set in the 1850's.
So, as I transition out of this rainy seasons and wait for my flowers to bloom, I'll sit back and watch a few of my founding fathers and mothers learn about hard work, break through stereotypical molds and find true love. It looks like not much has change in a couple hundred years-aren't we still learning those lessons and breaking those molds and as for love-we will always be searching for that. Okay-enough with the heavy stuff, I'm gonna see if my joke will work on OMP for the 20th time.